Benefits of Citizenship

There are many benefits to U.S. citizenship.  Here are some of the main reasons lawful permanent residents (LPRs) should take the next step towards becoming U.S. citizens:

  • Protection from deportation-  As a lawful permanent resident, certain criminal convictions can put you at risk of deportation.  Becoming a U.S. citizen protects you from deportation.
  • Citizenship for your children-  Your children under the age of 18 who are lawful permanent residents automatically may become United States citizens when you naturalize.
  • Family reunification-  U.S. citizens can file immigration petitions with the government to reunite with family members.  Although LPRs can file petitions only for their spouses, minor children and unmarried sons and daughters, U.S. citizens can petition for additional family members such as parents, siblings, and married adult sons and daughters.
  • Eligibility for government jobs-  Some jobs are only available to U.S. citizens, such as those in the federal government.  Additionally, naturalized citizens earn between 50% to 70% more than noncitizens, have higher employment rates, and are less likely to live below the poverty line.  New citizens could also see individual earnings increases of 8% to11%.
  • Freedom to travel-  LPRs' travel time during a given year is restricted, whereas U.S. citizens have the freedom to travel without these restrictions.
  • Ability to vote-  Only U.S. citizens have the opportunity to vote for the leaders they believe will best represent themselves, their families and their communities.
* For more information on the benefits of citizenship, citizenship requirements, how to find help, and more, visit the New Americans Campaign website.

Citizenship Preparation Classes

Assistance Applying for Citizenship

Scholarships for Citizenship Application Fees

Updates Regarding Citizenship Fee Changes

CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network)- Information and resources regarding USCIS fee schedule changes
American Immigration Lawyers Association- Information regarding USCIS fee increases and updates on pending litigation, including a searchable table with USCIS forms and new fees

Online Resources for the Citizenship Exam and Application Process

USCIS Citizenship Resource Center Includes USCIS resources for learners, teachers, and organizations, such as the 100 civics questions in English and other languages.  Learners can find the resources to learn about the naturalization process, determine eligibility requirement, view application forms, find study resources and support organizations in your community.  Study materials available in Spanish.
  USCIS Forms - All USCIS forms, including N400 Application for Naturalization, Request for Fee Waiver
Additional Resources to prepare for the test:
  • US Citizen Podcast - Podcast and video activities, sample interviews and the 100 Questions in a variety of languages (including Khmer, Tagalog, Vietnamese)

Other helpful Information:

Scoring Guidelines for the U.S. Naturalization Test - This document provides a general description of how the English portion of the U.S. Naturalization Test is evaluated and scored by officers of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS - formerly INS) - Check your case status, make an InfoPass appointment at your local USCIS district office, access forms and resources related to citizenship and immigration.
 
USCIS Citizenship Preparation Tools for Educators:
Teachers, volunteers, and other adult educators play a critical role in helping immigrants prepare for U.S. citizenship. USCIS has developed a variety of resources to support these efforts. In this section, you will find information on the naturalization process and test and other supplemental classroom-based materials. Professional development opportunities and other learning options are also available. To get started, explore the links below.
  • Educational Products Find USCIS print and multimedia materials to supplement classroom instruction.
  • Lesson Plans Download civics lessons and N-400 topic exercises.
  • Training Seminars Find a free workshop or training event in your area.
  • Naturalization Information Understand the process and steps involved in becoming a U.S. citizen.
  • Program Development Resources for community, faith-based, and civic organizations and employers who would like to help immigrants adjust to life in the United States and prepare for citizenship.
  • Professional Development Enhance your skills with free online training and professional development tools.
  • Supplemental Resource Links Find links to lesson plans and resources for teachers, newspapers and media resources, and primary documents.
 Additional Resources  
INTERACTIVE SITES:
Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) Citizenship Preparation program is the largest citizenship program in the state of Maryland.
BCCC Citizenship Playlist on YouTube - Various citizenship videos collected from different YouTube channels as a teaching tool for students.
 
Smithsonian National Museum of American History and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Project:
 Preparing for the Oath: U.S History and Civics for Citizenship- Smithsonian website with lessons and interactive activities on various U.S history and civics topics:  Prepare for the Test/Self-Test/Watch a video on “How to use Preparing for the Oath” video. 

Countywide Citizenship Corners 

In late 2016 and early 2017, cities and counties across the country have seen a significant increase in the demand for naturalization. Recognizing the urgency of this moment and the positive impact of naturalization in our County, we have partnered with a number of organizations to join in a coordinated campaign to encourage and support naturalization in our County. 


In May 2017, Montgomery County joined with nonprofit partners to launch a county campaign to encourage eligible residents to begin the process of becoming U.S. citizens. The campaign will include ongoing collaboration and citizenship workshops around the county, citizenship resource corners at various county facilities that serve as community hubs, and hosting naturalization ceremonies around the county. In addition, Montgomery County has joined Cities for Citizenship, a national initiative to promote and encourage eligible permanent residents to become U.S. citizens.

This county-wide initiative is aimed at reaching the 60,000 residents of Montgomery County who are eligible to become U.S. citizens now. They live in every neighborhood in our county and come from every region of the world. The benefits of naturalizing are many.  People who become citizens increase their income (up to 11%) and the county economy is strengthened. People who become citizens care more about the place they call home and our communities are strengthened.  It is a win-win situation for all.  

Montgomery County launched Countywide Citizenship Corners in recognition of Citizenship Day on September 17, 2018 as part of a national bipartisan effort to encourage eligible immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship. This comes at a time when a backlog in processing applications may be discouraging permanent residents from applying for citizenship.

 

Citizenship Corners provide information in a variety of languages that can help guide permanent residents toward applying for citizenship. In addition to the corner launched today in the Rockville Memorial Library, Citizenship Corners are being established at the Long Branch and Silver Spring libraries, the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center in Wheaton, the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center at the Gaithersburg Library, at Gaithersburg City Hall and at the Gaithersburg Parents Resource Center.

Additional sites will be added in the near future. Updates on the locations will be available on the website of the Gilchrist Center ( www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Gilchrist ) or by calling 240-777-4940. 

Read full press release here: https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=22417

** Please note that Montgomery County Public Libraries are currently closed to the public.